Anally Inserted Love Eggs

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I've done this before at this time of the year. January brings optimism and ambition in equal measure, I make plans for the year, only to see them dashed by injury, lethargy and at times chaos. But if I fail to begin with ambition and give up before the year begins I'll most likely spend it in an alcoholic stupor getting fat on kebabs and KFC.

So my race year is planned, entries are submitted and paid for, and.......get this......I'm actually doing some training. When I say some training I ain't joshing either. I've been following this training plan I've adapted from one kindly shared by Dale Jamieson and it's pretty full on.

Now, having once been a dedicated weight trainer, and being a qualified boxing coach, I understand the tripartite composition of a successful exercise regime: you can train all you like but if you don't provide your body with the appropriate fuel you'll crash and burn. Red wine and kebabs may have fuelled the fantasies of a runner (I still hate that word and don't regard myself as such) who got by on muscle memory and grit, but even I comprehend that I'll need a slightly smarter nutritional strategy if I'm gonna spend half my life in the gym or on the trail.

Likewise, you can train all you like but if you fail to get adequate rest your body will fail to repair and injury and exhaustion will surely follow. Four hours kip might have satisfied the sleep requirements of a runner who barely ran anywhere, but I'm gonna need to spend a bit more time in the land of nod if I'm gonna spend half my life pedalling away on a static bike or haring round the track in Battersea Park.

So I've entered three races this year: the Dee 33, the Highland Fling and the West Highland Way. I started my new training programme before Christmas and so far have stuck to it more religiously than John Kynaston with a new Bible. And I've been eating properly and sleeping at night (and some of the day). But in the back of my mind the words of the back specialist I saw last year chime constantly:

'Just accept it, your ultra running days are over.'

The pain that exists in my lower back that numbs my legs and makes me walk like I'm making full use of a pair of anally inserted love eggs is a current companion. That companion has been quieted by Cocodamol and physiotherapy and I believe I'll be on top of it before the Celandine blooms. I'm determined to prove the specialist wrong, and to be fair, if I had been honest with her about the imbalance that existed in my training v racing she might have qualified her statement with:

'Your ultra running days are over as long as you continue to be an idiot.'

So there you have it, Dear Reader: a new year and new plans. Let's see what happens.